Words: Eugenie Chan Photos: Monica Tindall
A true hidden gem.
Amongst the ever-increasing number and popularity of the TTDI area for hipster cafes, trendy joints and friendly pubs; Le Cafe Memoire provides a comfy, homey respite. Serving delicious, good quality food in a charming setting (big kudos for using recycled materials) accented by soft French movie-esque music. You can easily spend hours here, curled up with a book or chatting with your friends, without breaking the bank.
|Lots of Upcycling in the Design|
Opened just last November (2014), they aren’t shy with expressing their love for bacon, alcohol and baked stuff, which is peppered throughout their menu (dessert included). The menu is curated and created by former restaurant menu consultant, chef Brian. It features an interesting Asian twist on familiar Italian dishes, which are prepared with heart. Each dish is well thought through, and the results left us with quite an impression!
It takes three to tango it seems, and we certainly ain’t complaining. Chef Brian does all the hot food items, and the other two partners are a patisserie chef and baker respectively.
Most dishes are dashed with chilli from Thailand; acclimatised Malaysian palates rejoice! Spicy levels are not too insulting on the senses, but if you have a sensitive palate, do let the servers know you like it without any chilli.
The space has a nice outdoor area where you can host small gatherings (say 20pax); corkage is complimentary, so bring your own wine accompaniments!
Alcohol in the morning – Why not?
Serving alcohol infused drinks all day long, how could you not like this place already? We were particularly impressed with the “Lime and Sour Plum Mojito” (RM14.00). The sour plum adds a whole new dimension to this classic cocktail: a refreshing citrus drink to perk any day right up. We also tried Caffe Alexander (RM13) which is a Cafe Memoire novelty; double espresso, Bols Crème de Cacao Brown and hazelnut syrup shaken with ice. Coffee came at reasonable prices, a Caffe Latte for RM9.50 and Cappuccino for RM7.50.
|Lime and Sour Plum Mojito|
To accompany the alcohol, I guess we needed some food. The Memoire Breakfast (RM15.50) is equivalent to most big breakfasts, hearty and satisfying without overkilling the portion size. It comes with a choice of scrambled or sunny side kampung eggs (which is why it’s extra yellow), a German pork sausage, bacon, sautéed mushrooms, salad tossed with home-made dressing and two beautiful slices of artisanal rye bread. Turns out, the artisanal bread selection varies by day – you could end up with sourdough, multigrain, charcoal, bagel or focaccia. To our delight, these beauties are also available to take home by the loaf at RM8.00. We were super impressed by the quality, taste and freshness of the bread: this is certainly a steal.
|The Memoire Breakfast|
I’m quite a stickler when it comes to salad, so we were pleased by the colour variety in the “Smoked Duck Salad” (RM9.00). More than one variety of greens (rocket, mesclun, radicchio), a spatter of cherry tomatoes, generous slices of smoked duck, some orange wedges and walnuts. We really liked their home-made dressing which consists of sesame oil, apple juice, garlic and some balsamic vinegar.
|Smoked Duck Salad|
Creamy Bacon Pasta (RM14.00) was another comfort dish, and extra special with the homemade fettuccine. As per La Cafe Memoire creativity, they also have a Japanese Curry Pasta (RM14.50 with Spaghetti; RM17.50 with home-made fettuccine). It has a mild slightly peppery spice. The long flat pasta ribbons are lush, soaking up just a tad of the sauce, but maintaining texture right to the end. They’re well worth the upgrade from regular spaghetti.
|Pork Bacon and Mushroom Fettuccine|
|Japanese Curry Fettuccine|
The Mushroom Soup (RM10.00) was very creamy and chunky, served with three slices of their artisanal bread of the day. The soup base is made with Chinese mushrooms, then shiitake, oyster, shimeji and more Chinese mushrooms are sautéed and added with cream to complete the dish. Yum.
The Pork Chop (RM 25.00) really surprised us, perhaps because we haven’t been exposed as much to Mongolian barbecue spices that these bad boys were marinated in. Further investigation revealed the use of 5-spice and tomato powder amongst other flavours, which really piqued our interest. It was served on a bed of sweet potato mashed with butter, cream, onion and parsley. Couldn’t really go wrong there. Certainly one of our must tries when you hit up this joint.
|Pork Chop – Yes that is a decadent slab of herbed butter melting on the top|
We were in for a treat with the Pork Bacon Pizza (Price yet to be set), which will be on the menu soon. Besides the porky topping, what we liked was the Roman style pizza base which is more chewy than the thin crust style often found around KL, but extremely tasty even on its own.
|Pork Bacon Pizza|
When regulars voluntarily vouch for your food (as did a table neighbour who’d noticed what we ordered and congratulated us on a well-made choice), you know it must be good. The Tiramisu (RM9.00) did not disappoint, and regularly sells out. The process of making it takes ages, so make sure you enjoy every cream and sponge layer and savour the caramelised nuts.
They also do a variety of tarts, but most interesting is the Mango with Coconut Cream Tart (RM10.00). It literally is the progeny of mango sticky rice mating with a cream tart.
|Mango Coconut Cream Tart|
We did mention they put bacon in everything… the Nutty Bacon Sundae (RM11.00) is a good example of that. Ensure you have a bit of everything when you take each bite, the savoury bacon, sweetness of vanilla ice cream, crunch of the caramelised mixed nuts and tangy bite of the calamansi sorbet make for quite a party in your mouth. The ice cream is of high quality – you can see specs of vanilla bean pods used for natural flavouring and the textures are very smooth.
|Nutty Pork Bacon Sundae|
Last but not least, Chocolate Soufflé with Raspberry Sorbet (RM15.00) again was an interesting twist. Once it arrives, you dip the spoonful of ice-cold sorbet into the belly of the warm soufflé and let it melt into it. The soufflé itself is not really sweet, but the sorbet adds the sweetness and evens it out nicely. Do give the kitchen 15-20 minutes to serve this, as it’s made a la minute.
|Chocolate Soufflé with Raspberry Sorbet|
Reasons to visit: unpretentious ambience, stomach friendly portions (just right!) at reasonable prices, artisanal breads, Lime and Sour Plum Mojito, Memoire Breakfast, Smoked Duck Salad, Pork Chops, Mushroom Soup, Creamy Bacon Pasta with fettuccine, Tiramisu, Mango and Coconut Cream Tart.
La Café Memoire
7A (1st floor), Lorong Rahim Kajai 13
(Directly above Legendary Reflexology)
Taman Tun Dr Ismail
6000 Kuala Lumpur
+6 03-7731 7574
Closed on Mondays
Breakfast served 9am – 11:30am
Lunch served 11:30 onwards
Dinner served 6pm – 10:30pm